Sorbus aria


Common Whitebeam is one of a group of closely related, shrubby, whitebeam trees, some of which are very rare. It grows in a variety of habitats, including on cliffs and mountainsides, but is also frequently planted in towns and gardens. Clusters of white flowers appear in late spring and ripen to red fruits which are greedily eaten by birds.

How to identify

As a group, Whitebeam are recognised by their oval leaves, which are whitish underneath, and red haw-like fruits.

Where to find it

Widespread, but rare in the wild.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

The green space and plants in our towns and gardens can provide habitats for all kinds of wildlife. Try planting native shrubs and trees to encourage nesting birds, feeding mammals and invertebrates into your backyard. To find out more about wildlife-friendly gardening, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Sorbus aria
Trees and shrubs
Height: 8-15m
Conservation status
Common Whitebeam is rare; other species, such as Arran Whitebeam, Bloody Whitebeam and Somerset Whitebeam are classified as Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.